1 January 2001
British claims that EU force will complement NATO make referendum imperative
Sinn Fein has called on Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to give a cast-iron guarantee that he will hold a referendum on joining the EU Rapid Reaction Force.
Sinn Fein's European Parliament candidate for Dublin, Councillor Seán Crowe, said that statements over the Christmas period by British Government (Ministry of Defence) and Opposition (Liberal Democrat) defence spokespersons that the EU Rapid Reaction Force will complement NATO strategy ``make it all the more imperative that there is a full debate and a referendum on joining the new EU military alliance''.
Cllr Crowe said:
``Fianna Fáil promised us a referendum on joining the NATO-backed Partnership for Peace but then went back on its word as soon as it got into power. The Taoiseach owes the people a referendum on joining the EU Rapid Reaction Force and its full implications for Irish neutrality in working with NATO.''
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